Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Byrds Under Review - A Documentary DVD

One of my favorite Rock groups of the 1960s is the Byrds. I don't think I ever discussed them in this journal. I read in Goldmine Magazine a review of the new DVD called The Byrds Under Review which documents their career. The unique thing about the group is how their style changed over the years from folk-rock, to psychedelic rock, to country rock and even to pure country music. The original members of the group were Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, Mike Clarke, Dave Crosby, and Chris Hillman. It is significant to note that as there were personnel changes, the group members did very well on their own and with other groups. Dave Crosby hooked up with Steven Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young. Chris Hillman appeared in the Flying Burrito Brothers among other acts. On his own Gene Clark did a fantastic version of Mr. Tambourine Man. I own several CDs of Roger McGuinn solos. The DVD was not authorized by Byrd members.  Thus I was disappointed that none of the artists were interviewed.  The bulk of the video consisted of interviews with music journalists. 

The Mets Came from Behind to Beat the Dodgers 3-2

This series marked the return of Joe Torre to NYC after he did not renew his contract with the Yankees.  The game was very dull until the 8th inning when the Mets struck back.  Carlos Betran hit a two run homer while Fernando Tatis singled in the go ahead run.  Billy Wagner got the save. Box Score

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Why are Commuter Railroads still in the 19th Century

Every day I take New Jersey Transit (NJT) from Penn Station NYC to Newark.  I buy a monthly ticket through my payroll office so I get a tax deduction.  NJT  employs old fashioned conductors to collect fares on the trains.  This method is also used on Metro-North, the Long Island Railroad, and Amtrak.  With all the technology that is available , it beats me why this antiquated method is still used.  The only thing I can see that there is union pressure to preserve these jobs.  There is nothing we can do about this.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Approaching 8000 hits - Who is lurking?

Within a day or two this journal will reach 8000 hits since October 2005.  This number is a little misleading since it counts the times that I access my own journal to write or edit an entry.  I know that several of my radio friends and current and former NJIT colleagues come here.  But who else lurks here?  Are people from my distance past reading this?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tales of The Micromanager - May 27th Report

The incident today happened to a colleague.  If anyone wants to hear about this incident, please contact me privately.  I wonder how long it will take the Red Sox fan from Arizona to get back to me.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Lee's Photo was in Sunday's New York Times

The gentleman in the center is my son Lee.  The article is about possible cut in funding for his afterschool program at the Samuel Field YM YWHA in Little Neck

WABC Rewound 2008

WABC was the premier popular music station from 1960-82 in New York.  Many legends in New York radio including Cousin Bruce Morrow, Harry Harrison, Ron Lundy, Dan Ingram and Bob Lewis among many others appeared on the station.  As we entered the 1980s there were more FM stations playing popular music in stereo.  At that time popular music became very much fragmented with radio station adopting various musical formats.  Thus, in May 1982 changed to a talk radio format which is very popular to this day.

Listeners of oldies radio are very grateful that the current management of  talk radio WABC is appreciative of the heritage of the station.  There is a nostalgia show called Saturday Night Oldies featuring Mark Simone.  For the last 10 years on Memorial Day WABC goes back to the past and plays recordings of  music radio WABC that have been restored.  There is a schedule for today's program  and a message board where listeners may make comments.  I would like to thank Johnny Donovan, Peter Kanze,  Rob Frankel and many others who made this possible.

WABC's sister station in Chicago WLS has a similair history and are concurrently doing a rewind show.

I certainly enjoy this, but I can't stay glued to my radio for 14 straight hours.  Lee and I went down to play some basketball earlier  We will later see a movie and sit on a park bench and read yesterday's New York Times.  It's back to work tomorrow.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lecture on the History of Shea Stadium

Shea Stadium (NY) (Images of Baseball)

Since I knew that Shea Stadium will close at the end of the 2008 season, I searched some time ago to see if there was a book about it.  So I ordered this book by local historian Jason Antos.  Since last fall when I attended a conference on the history of Queens I have received mailings from the Queens Historical Society.  Today they held a short lecture in downtown Flushing by the author of the book.  He talked about the politics behind the building of the stadium in the early 1960s.  The people in the audience who were quite knowledgeable about the Mets contributed anecdotes about the stadium and the new Citifield.  People felt that it would be very difficult to get tickets since the seating capacity is 12,000 less than that of Shea.  Since this lecture was within walking distance, I didn't have to spend money for gasoline which is over $4/gallon.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

More Reading about Dylan than listening on his birthday

A few days ago I remarked about purchasing this book.  I sat on my favorite park bench this afternoon and completed it.  Suze Rotolo was Bob's girlfriend in the early 1960s when they lived together in Greenwich Village.  Suze was quite forthright in her discussions of her relationships with him back then.  Attitudes toward unmarried couples living together were much different back then.  She talked about how certain songs he wrote like Down the Highway and Boots of Spanish Leather were about their relationship.  My question to her would be why she waited 40 years to write this memoir.   Suze also discussed the political and folk music scene of that era.  I did not know that she made a trip to Cuba without Bob.  It was a partial biography that covered only the early to mid 1960s.  I think she should have included a page or even a few paragraphs that informs the reader of her more recent activities.  There was just a current photo with a caption saying that she is an artist living in NYC with her family.  NJIT readers of this journal may borrow my copy.
I just hate the Digital Millenium Copyright Act that limits the number of times that an Internet radio station can play a specific artist per hour.  In the old days WFUV would play on Dylan music on his birthday.  When I turned on the station at 4 PM Pete Fornatale said that in honor of Bob Dylan's birthday this show will feature harmonica songs.  I listened for one hour and heard only Song to Woody.
I watched the Met game until about 6:40 to make sure they won this one.  The final was 9-2.  I hope the Distinguished Professor (Alan) and the Dean (Frank) forgive me for missing part of Saturday Night Oldies.  Sometimes you have to juggle your passions.  As of now I haven't heard any Dylan on the show.

Panhandling at Intersections

A little earlier today Karen, Lee and I were on our way home from the park.  We stopped at a red light at the intersection of 20th Avenue and the Whiteston Expressway in northern Queens.  On the left side there was a poor woman with a sign saying that she needs money to feed her 5 children.  On the right side there were some teenagers in baseball uniforms asking for money so that their team can travel to San Diego.  First of all panhandling at intersections is dangerous.  Let's hope that there is never an accident.  I always avoid them especially on the subway since many are looking for money to buy drugs.  I do donate to legitimate charities.  But in this case, what is more important feeding a family or traveling to San Diego to play baseball?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thinking about the Humorous Side of Bob Dylan on His 67th Birthday

Where were you in '62?  That is the year that Bob Dylan recorded his first album for Columbia Records.  How many entertainers of that year are still in show business?  Bob is still very active touring all over the world.  Tomorrow is his 67th birthday.  Since I don't know when I'll go online tomorrow, I thought I would post my 2008 tribute today.  You may want to read my tributes in 2007 and 2006.

Hopefully, Mark Simone will play a Dylan song on Saturday Night Oldies tomorrow.  Since the format of the show is hits, his choice will be limited to:

Like A Rolling Stone (never played on SNO)

Positively Fourth Street (Frank please advise me on this one)

Lay Lady Lay

Knockin' on Heaven's Door

Rainy Day Women #12 and #35

Perhaps Mark may play a Dylan cover which charted:

It Ain't Me Babe - Turtles

Mr. Tambourine Man - Byrds

The Mighty Quinn - Manfred Mann

Does the Distinguished Professor of SNO have any comments?

Regular reader of this journal Dave DuBrow picked Tangled Up in Blue as his favorite Dylan song which is the same as Lee's.  I will comment on my favorite sometime in the future.

I would like to think of the humorous side of Bob Dylan for this birthday.  You Really have to know him to appreciate his humor.  A few humorous songs are:

Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat

The Ugliest Girl in the World

Wiggle Wiggle

Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window

For this journal entry I would like to feature Bob Dylan's 115th Dream (he actually counts them) as his funniest song.  Enjoy! and we all wish Bob many more birthdays.

I was riding on the Mayflower
When I thought I spied some land
I yelled for Captain Arab
I have yuh understand
Who came running to the deck
Said, "Boys, forget the whale
Look on over yonder
Cut the engines
Change the sail
Haul on the bowline"
We sang that melody
Like all tough sailors do
When they are far away at sea

"I think I'll call it America"
I said as we hit land
I took a deep breath
I fell down, I could not stand
Captain Arab he started
Writing up some deeds
He said, "Let's set up a fort
And start buying the place with beads"
Just then this cop comes down the street
Crazy as a loon
He throw us all in jail
For carryin' harpoons

Ah me I busted out
Don't even ask me how
I went to get some help
I walked by a Guernsey cow
Who directed me down
To the Bowery slums
Where people carried signs around
Saying, "Ban the bums"
I jumped right into line
Sayin', "I hope that I'm not late"
When I realized I hadn't eaten
For five days straight

I went into a restaurant
Lookin' for the cook
I told them I was the editor
Of a famous etiquette book
The waitress he was handsome
He wore a powder blue cape
I ordered some suzette, I said
"Could you please make that crepe"
Just then the whole kitchen exploded
From boilin' fat
Food was flying everywhere
And I left without my hat

Now, I didn't mean to be nosy
But I went into a bank
To get some bail for Arab
And all the boys back in the tank
They asked me for some collateral
And I pulled down my pants
They threw me in the alley
When up comes this girl from France
Who invited me to her house
I went, but she had a friend
Who knocked me out
And robbed my boots
And I was on the street again

Well, I rapped upon a house
With the U.S. flag upon display
I said, "Could you help me out
I got some friends down the way"
The man says, "Get out of here
I'll tear you limb from limb"
I said, "You know they refused Jesus, too"
He said, "You're not Him
Get out of here before I break your bones
I ain't your pop"
I decided to have him arrested
And I went looking for a cop

I ran right outside
And I hopped inside a cab
I went out the other door
This Englishman said, "Fab"
As he saw me leap a hot dog stand
And a chariot that stood
Parked across from a building
Advertising brotherhood
I ran right through the front door
Like a hobo sailor does
But it was just a funeral parlor
And the man asked me who I was

I repeated that my friends
Were all in jail, with a sigh
He gave me his card
He said, "Call me if they die"
I shook his hand and said goodbye
Ran out to the street
When a bowling ball came down the road
And knocked me off my feet
A pay phone was ringing
It just about blew my mind
When I picked it up and said hello
This foot came through the line

Well, by this time I was fed up
At tryin' to make a stab
At bringin' back any help
For my friends and Captain Arab
I decided to flip a coin
Like either heads or tails
Would let me know if I should go
Back to ship or back to jail
So I hocked my sailor suit
And I got a coin to flip
It came up tails
It rhymed with sails
So I made it back to the ship

Well, I got back and took
The parkin' ticket off the mast
I was ripping it to shreds
When this coastguard boat went past
They asked me my name
And I said, "Captain Kidd"
They believed me but
They wanted to know
What exactly that I did
I said for the Pope of Eruke
I was employed
They let me go right away
They were very paranoid

Well, the last I heard of Arab
He was stuck on a whale
That was married to the deputy
Sheriff of the jail
But the funniest thing was
When I was leavin' the bay
I saw three ships a-sailin'
They were all heading my way
I asked the captain what his name was
And how come he didn't drive a truck
He said his name was Columbus
I just said, "Good luck."

Copyright © 1965; renewed 1993 Special Rider Music

Finally, a Sunny Vacation Day

No Rain Today!!!  I went to the bank in the morning and then drove down to Forest Park.  I walked for about an hour and then did some reading.  From there I drove to 63rd Drive in Rego Park where I started my annual tour of the neighborhood where I grew up.  I have already documented by 2006 and 2007 tours in this journal.  I was sure to stop by the following addresses:

61-40 Saunders Street where I lived with my parents until 1980.  I checked the building directory and noted there were 3 families that were there back then.

64-12 Wetherole Street where I lived just before I got married from January 1980 until right before my wedding in October 1983

62-60 99th Street (Saxon Hall) where Karen and I lived when we were first married

I looked around at retail establishments and remembered what was there all those years ago.  Only Ben's Best Deli on Queens Blvd. remains.

Back in May 2000 I did this tour with Steven Gaber who was my friend in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  I recalled how he stole my baseball glove and said that he mailed it to China. 

Below is a photo of the Rego Park Jewish Center where I was Bar Mitzvahed in April 1962.  I passed by there today.

Until Next May

Thursday, May 22, 2008

South Street Seaport with Roy

I have known Roy since our days at Forest Hills High School from 1964-67.  He worked for many years as a city planner in an office building across the street from City Hall in lower Manhattan.  Once a year I would meet him there for lunch.  That lucky guy retired last year and now has all the time in the world to take advantage of the cultural activities of the Big Apple.  Today I was able to meet him for lunch without having to be concerned for his getting back to work.  After lunch we walked over to the Sout Street Seaport and saw Amazonia Brazil, a 13,000 square foot recreation of the Amazon rain forest.  Roy knows what cultural activies in the city are either free or discounted.  This exhibit is free today and on Thursday May 29th.  It will close on July 13th.  After seeing that we walked around the shopping mall there.  I have to go back to work on Thursday, but he does not :(

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Jersey Chemistry Olympics Today

I interrupted my vacation today to work at the New Jersey Chemistry Olympics as I have done at NJIT for at least 10 years.  High School students from all over NJ come to NJIT and compete in 10 events.  I organized and judged the information search.  Students were require to build a model of a molecule of an antihistamine of their choice.  A chemistry professor would judge the quality of their model.  In the information search the students use online databases to answer questions about antihistamines.  I sensed that the students had fun doing it.  NJIT hopes that this event will attract good high school students to enroll.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Another Rainy Vacation Day

I was able to go out for a walk in the morning before the rain started.  There was nothing much else I could do.  I spent some time reading and listening to the radio.  The Mets are playing a day-night doubleheader in Atlanta today.  They lost the day game 6-1.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hempstead Lake State Park and Other Things

This is the week of the year that I live like a retiree.  At 9 AM I drove out to Hempstead Lake  State Park about 25 minutes away off the Southern State Parkway. I took a walk for about 1 1/2 hours and then sat on the proverbial park bench and did some reading.  Here is my radio log for the day:

6:10 AM - 6:50 AM - WCBS-FM Ron Parker for Dan Daylor

6:50 - 7:15 WFUV - Claudia Marshall

7:15 AM - 7:50 AM - WBGO Dan Karcher for Gary Walker their fund raising drive is over

7:50 - 8:15 - Sounds of the Sixties with Brian Matthew.  Since I watched the ball game last night I had to finishing listening today

8:15 - 8:45 - XM Radio - the 50s channel

8:45 - 9:00 WMTR Morristown.  I can pull this oldies station in during the day on my GE Superradio.  Otherwise I have to listen online

9:00 - 9:30 - WKJY Hempstead, Long Island.  Their transmitter is only 2 miles from the park.

12:30 - 1:00 - WCBS-FM Don Bombard filled in for Bob Shannon

1:00 - 1:30  WRXP HD2 - they moved the smooth jazz to the HD2 channel when CD101.9 flipped to Rock

3:00 - 3:30 - WFAN with Mike and the Mad Dog

Here is my reading log for the day in no specific order

I finished Sunday's New York Times.  There is a lot to read there.  I usually read it on the train on Mondays

Voices of Summer - a book with thumbnail bios of numerous TV baseball broadcasters

Bob Dylan - Performing Artist 1986-90.  The section that I read today discussed the 1990 CD Under the Red Sky.  So I listened to that CD from 4:00 - 5:00

Since Lee wore his Johnny Cash tee shirt to school today, he put on a Johnny Cash CD while we ate dinner.

Mets Kill the Yankees 11-2

Oliver Perez was the "Man of the Hour" last night as he ptiched into the 8th inning and beat Yankee ace Chien-Ming Wang 11-2.  Fortunately, an incorrect call by umpires did not affect the outcome of the game.  Carlos Delgado hit a ball the hit the fair poll which should have been called a three run home run, but was ruled a foul ball.  Ryan Church and Jose Reyes homered for the Mets in the game.  Box Score.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Iron Man and Bobby Valentine

Today we walked over to the local multiplex and saw the movie Iron Man with Robert Downey Jr.  I don't claim to be a movie reviewer.  This was another science fiction fantasy movie for kids.  Here is a good review.  When we left the theater it was raining so I read part of the New York Times and at 4:00 PM we put a tape of The Zen of Bobby V on the VCR.  As I stated before this film played a few weeks ago at the Tribeca Film Festival, but Karen taped it from ESPN2 earlier in the week.  Bobby Valentine is sure having a good time managing in Japan at $3.5 Million/year.  I appreciated his bringing the Mets to to 2000 World Series.  Why should he come back to the States?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mets Beat the Yankees 7-4

The Subway Series began today after last night;s rain out.  The New York Mets and starting pitcher Johann Sanatana beat the Yankees 7-4.  Regular reader of ths journal Alan B was fortunate to be at Yankee Stadium to see the game.  Box Score.

After the game Karen, Lee and I drove over to Ben's in Bayside to celebrate with kosher pastrami sandwich.

I'll bet Dave in Chicago is drooling right now.  From the restaurant we walked over to Barnes and Nobles.  I bought the latest Bob Dylan book written by his early 1960s girlfriend Suze Rotolo.  I'll have to write a review of it in a few days.  Lee bought a biography of Yogi Berra.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Rainy Vacation Day

At least I didn't have to schlep through the buses and trains to get to work today.  I went to the barber shop in the morning to get a hair cut.  I spent a few hours reading books and magazines.  I watched Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Family Feud.  Here is my radio listening log for today(as of 4:30 PM):

WCBS-FM - 6:10 AM - 7:00 AM

WFUV - 7:00 - 7:30 AM

The Breeze (WWXY - Long Branch via Internet) -7:30 - 8:00 AM

Aircheck of the late Ron O'Brien WCFL-Chicago 1972 via 8:00 - 8:30 AM

XM Radio Beyond Jazz - 8:30 - 9:00

WWFS-HD2 aka 1:50 - 2:15 PM

WFAN - 2:15 PM - 2:25  PM

WRXP-HD2 - 2:25-2:45 PM

WCBS-FM HD2 2:45 - 3:00 PM

XM Radio 60s - 4:00 PM

There is supposed to be a Subway Series game tonight at Yankee Stadium, but I am almost certain it will be rained out.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Relaxing until May 27th

One of the nice things about working for a university is that there is plenty of time off.  During the year I get 20 vacation days, 3 personal days, the week off between Christmas and New Years, and Fridays off between June and August.  Now that the semester is over I will be off until Tuesday May 27th.  I will go back on Wednesday May 21(one day) to work at the New Jersey Chemistry Olympics.  I have no travel plans, but will just sit home and relax lick the gentleman in the photo.  I think I will get plenty of recreational reading done.  Maybe, I'll meet some people for lunch.  New Jersey Transit will lose its most reliable customer for a week.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bob Dylan - Frank Sinatra Connection

There is much written in the media today about the 10th anniversary of Frank Sinatra's passing.  A commemorative stamp was issued yesterday.  On November 19, 1995 there was a televised concert tribute to Frank on his 80th birthday.  Bob Dylan was one of the featured performers.  He sang Restless Farewell from the Times They Are A'Changin' Album. Some people have interpreted this song as Bob's saying goodbye to the protest movement of the early 1960s.  To quote the Penelope Cruz character in his film Masked and Anonymous "His songs are so vague and open to interpretation."  Here are the lyrics:

Restless Farewell

Oh all the money that in my whole life I did spend,
Be it mine right or wrongfully,
I let it slip gladly past the hands of my friends
To tie up the time most forcefully.
But the bottles are done,
We've killed each one
And the table's full and overflowed.
And the corner sign
Says it's closing time,
So I'll bid farewell and be down the road.

Oh ev'ry girl that ever I've touched,
I did not do it harmfully.
And ev'ry girl that ever I've hurt,
I did not do it knowin'ly.
But to remain as friends and make amends
You need the time and stay behind.
And since my feet are now fast
And point away from the past,
I'll bid farewell and be down the line.

Oh ev'ry foe that ever I faced,
The cause was there before we came.
And ev'ry cause that ever I fought,
I fought it full without regret or shame.
But the dark does die
As the curtain is drawn and somebody's eyes
Must meet the dawn.
And if I see the day
I'd only have to stay,
So I'll bid farewell in the night and be gone.

Oh, ev'ry thought that's strung a knot in my mind,
I might go insane if it couldn't be sprung.
But it's not to stand naked under unknowin' eyes,
It's for myself and my friends my stories are sung.
But the time ain't tall,
Yet on time you depend and no word is possessed
By no special friend.
And though the line is cut,
It ain't quite the end,
I'll just bid farewell till we meet again.

Oh a false clock tries to tick out my time
To disgrace, distract, and bother me.
And the dirt of gossip blows into my face,
And the dust of rumors covers me.
But if the arrow is straight
And the point is slick,
It can pierce through dust no matter how thick.
So I'll make my stand
And remain as I am
And bid farewell and not give a damn.

Copyright © 1964; renewed 1992 Special Rider Music

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Being Interviewed on the TV News

One day in 1996 I was walking from my house toward the Flushing subway station and passed by the 109th Police Precinct.  A reporter from NY1 news, Kristen Shaugnessy stopped me and interviewed me about stolen cars in Flushing.  I said that this area was a good target for thieves since it was right off the highway so the stolen car could be driven away easily.  I also mentioned that I keep my car in a garage since I use it exclusively on weekends.  I was a little nervous, but I think I did OK.  I did not sing the Car 54 Theme Song :)  I do have a tape of my interview, but I haven't looked at it in years.  One acquaintance of mine saw the story on TV.

I bring this up today since I saw a NY1 news van at that same spot by the precinct.  I think they were doing a story about a woman who abandoned her new born baby.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sasha is part of the family too

Yours truly is a devoted reader of Dave DuBrow's Journal File ( which features photos of several dogs.  Dave dave not give the identity of these animals which are indeed man's best friend.  The above photos is that of Sasha Feuer, my niece.  She is now 13 1/2 years and is in good health.  I know that eventually she will go into puppy dog heaven.  Lee just loves her.  Lee knows that Sasha's birthday is November 11th and sends her a birthday card every year.  My borther-in-law Keith has owned dogs for all of his life.  He says that Sasha will be his last dog :(

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers Day Gathering - I Was There

Here is a photo of my mother, Lillian Slutsky, taken at a gathering of my sister's house in Dix Hills, Long Island today.  Thankful, at age 88 she is in good health.  She has had some minor ailments like arthritis, but nothing major.  The longevity genes seem to run in her family since my grandmother lived to age 90.  Her brothers, my uncles, are age 91 and 85, respectively.  I picked her up in Forest Hills and drove her to my sister's home.  We had a barbeque with chicken, hot dogs and hambergers.  If you want to see the entire album (8 photos) please go to


I'm Not There on Mother's Day Morning

The gentleman in the picture above in Todd Haynes the producer of I'm Not There.  I bought the DVD on Tuesday, but I had to find a 2 1/2 hour block of time when we all could see the movie without interruptions.  I put on the DVD on at 8 AM.  The phone actually rang 4 times during that period, but I would not talk to anyone.  There is an option on the DVD to hear Todd Hayne's comments while the film is running. I will re-watch it in a few weeks with this option.  Later in the morning I spoke to my frugal friend Roy who said he bought it at J&R for $17.99 while I paid $2 more at Borders.  The Distinguished Professor also bought it at Borders.  I did notice some more details that I missed when I saw it in the theater,

My Singing Performance on Saturday Night Oldies

Here is a 4 1/2 minute segment from last night Saturday Night Oldies that features my singing performance of the Car 54 Where Are You theme song.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Susbscription to XM Radio Online

Regular readers of this journal may have noticed in the space for Music I am Listening To, I often list a channel from XM Radio.  I have grappled for a few years now whether I shoud purchase a radio for $100+ and subscription for $12.95/month.  For a few years I was able to get XM Radio online with my AOL subscription.  This deal ended on April 30th.  I decided to pay $2.99/month for the next 6 months to get the online version.  If I got the radio, I would be able to get the talk stations.  Let's see how this works out.

The Mets won for Us 12 - 6

The Met bats finally came to life today as they beat the Cincinnati Reds 12 -6 in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.  We were sitting in section 10 of the Upper Deck which is a no alchohol section.  Why should I pay $8 for a beer at Shea when I can drink one for $1 at home.  Anyway my section got free Bubba Berger t-shirts and appeared for a few seconds on the big TV screen in center field.  The Distinguished Professor dropped by in the bottom of the 7th inning.

Here is the box score

I sang on Saturday Night Oldies Tonight

I had 30 seconds of fame tonight.  Mark Simone was talking about favorite sitcoms.  I phoned in and mentioned Car 54 Where are You.  I even sang the show's theme song and made a fool of myself. I know I will never have a career in singing. I will not apply to sing on American Idol. The Distinguished Professor of Saturday Night Oldies was making his dinner and missed my performance. Here is the Car 54 Theme the way it should be sung.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ending Relationships

Relationships (non-romantic) can end abruptly or they  just fade away whether they are virtual or real.  Sometimes two people can have an argument which leads to an abrupt end of the relationship. Other times you just see each other less and less often and then finally never.  Two people can work at the same organization and be very close.  When one leaves, the two keep in touch for a while, and then eventually not at all.  I remember being very friendly with Mike when we were both students at City College until we graduated in 1972.  I kept in touch with him until 1976 when I moved to Connecticut.  In 1998 I was sitting on a plane to Washington, DC and he walked passed me.  I didn’t say anything.  What do you say to someone you haven’t seen in over 20 years.  When I lived in New Jersey I was very friendly with Jay.  We met in 1975 and even kept in touch when  I moved to Connecticut.  We exchanged letters (no e-mail in those days) and phone calls quite regularly and even vacationed together in 1977 in Cape Cod.  In 1978 we had an argument and our friendship ended quite abruptly.  I’ll never forget the “Dear John Letter” I got from him that summer.  It turned out to be for the better.  I guess virtual relationships can end gradually or abruptly as well.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Happy Birthday - Dave DuBrow May 8th

Thursday May 8th is the Birthday of Dave DuBrow from Chicago.  Although he grew up in New Haven, Ct and now lives in the midwest Dave is a great enthusiast of New York Radio growing up listening to WABC and WNEW-FM.  He even uses a defunct radio station with its frequency WAPP1035 as his screen name.  I won't ask how old he is.  I gave some thought today over which Bob Dylan song I should dedicate to Dave.  It is My Back Pages that was originally recorded by Bob in 1964 on Another Side of Bob Dylan.  The Byrds did a terrific cover of it a few years later.

On October 16, 1992 there was a concert at Madison Square Garden to honor Dylan on his 30th anniversary in the music business.  One of the show stoppers was My Back Pages sung by Tom Petty, George Harrison Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, and Roger Mcguinn.  It can be downloaded below.

My Back Pages

Crimson flames tied through my ears
Rollin' high and mighty traps
Pounced with fire on flaming roads
Using ideas as my maps
"We'll meet on edges, soon," said I
Proud 'neath heated brow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.

Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth
"Rip down all hate," I screamed
Lies that life is black and white
Spoke from my skull. I dreamed
Romantic facts of musketeers
Foundationed deep, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.

Girls' faces formed the forward path
From phony jealousy
To memorizing politics
Of ancient history
Flung down by corpse evangelists
Unthought of, though, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now

A self-ordained professor's tongue
Too serious to fool
Spouted out that liberty
Is justequality in school
"Equality," I spoke the word
As if a wedding vow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.

In a soldier's stance, I aimed my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I'd become my enemy
In the instant that I preach
My pathway led by confusion boats
Mutiny from stern to bow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now

Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats
Too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now

Copyright © 1964; renewed 1992 Special Rider Music

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night - The Electric Prunes

Back in 1967 there were many psychedelic hit singles.  One was I Had too Much To Dream Last Night by a one hit wonder group called the Electric Prunes.  When you do dream too much, you forget what you dream about.  I generally remember dreams that happen close to my normal wake up time.

If you want an mp3 of this hit you can get it from:

Here are the lyrics:

Last night your shadow fell upon my lonely room
I touched your golden hair and tasted your perfume
Your eyes were filled with love the way they used to be
Your gentle hand reached out to comfort me
Then came the dawn
And you were gone
You were gone, gone, gone
I had too much to dream last night
Too much to dream
I'm not ready to face the light
I had too much to dream
Last night
Last night

The room was empty as I staggered from my bed
I could not bear the image racing through my head
You were so real that I could feel your eagerness
And when you raised your lips for me to kiss
Came the dawn
And you were gone
You were gone, gone, gone

[repeat chorus 2X]

Oh, too much to dream
Oh, too much to dream
Too much to dream last night
Oh, too much to dream
[repeat to fade]

I'm Not There Again

I picked up the DVD of the Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There on the way home from work at the Borders by Penn Station.  Back when I was growing up there was great anticipation of a new release by our favorite recording artists, but I had to scrape up my allowance money to but a new record.  Now I have the money to buy a significant new CD or DVD.  I am glad that regular reader of this journal AB, the Distinguished Professor of Saturday Night Oldies also bought it today.  I want to watch the full movie on the weekend when I have a clear mind. It will not be Saturday at 6 PM. Tonight we spent an hour watching the special features of the DVD.  Todd Haynes, the producer of the film, in an interview in the special features, said that one didn't have to be an expert on Dylan to enjoy it.  There was a tribute to Heath Ledger who passed away recently.  I was hoping there would be a segment showing how Cate Blanchett transformed from a beautiful woman to Dylan (see photo above).  I was amazed how Cate was able to imitate Dylan's manerisms as seen in Don't Look Back. 

Monday, May 5, 2008

Dreaming about WOGL Philadelphia

Last night I dreamed about driving down to Philadelphia and trying to pull in WOGL their oldies station or should I say greates hits of the 60s and 70s.  I have driven down there before and will do so again this summer when I go to the American Chemical Society meeting there.  Back in the 1990s I received tapes of several "Elvis and Friends" shows heard on WOGL on Sunday mornings.  Sadly, two of their personalities Ron O'Brien and Hy Lit recently passed away.  Earlier today I listened for a while on the Internet.  Why am I listening to Chicago's True Oldies Channel while I am writing an entry about another station?  Duh, I don't know.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Googling people

Did you ever do a Google search on your own name or name of current or past friend or acquaintance.  If you search on my name most of the hits will be from NJIT.  I did find a wibe site which stated that a criminal Bruce Thomas in Milwaukee used my name as an alias.(  If you have a common name, it may be hard to pinpoint an exact person.  Very often you have to use another term such as their home town to find them.  I have done searches on people I know now and of people I haven't seen in years.  It is interesting to see what became of them, but I never tried to contact anyone.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Another Bob Dylan Book!

Bob Dylan: Performing Artist Volume 3: Mind Out Of Time 1986 And Beyond

We set out to the multiplex to see the new film Iron Man, but the 12:50 PM show was sold out.  No big deal.  We can always see it next week.  There is always a big run on a movie the first weekend.  Anyway, we walked over to downtown Flushing since I wanted to pick up a few things at Macy's.  From there we walked over to the Flushing Branch of the Queens Public Library which has a much bigger selection of books than the library in our neighborhood.  I went to the biography seciton and picked out:

Bob Dylan Performing Artist 1986-90 & Beyond Mind Out of time by Paul Williams.  Most of the Dylan books that I have read cover the 1960s, but this one obviously critiques his later works.  The chapter that I read talked about the CD Down in the Groove.  I just had to play it.

I'm Not There DVD to be released on Tuesday

I have known for a while that the DVD of my favorite movie will be released on Tuesday May 6th.  Here is a story about it:

Bob Dylan wears many masks in Haynes' 'I'm Not There' on DVD By Bruce Dancis - McClatchy Newspapers

Another side of Bob Dylan - or rather, many sides of Bob Dylan are shown in Todd Haynes' adventurous "I'm Not There," in which different actors (including Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, Ben Whishaw and Marcus Carl Franklin) portray the legendary singer-songwriter at various stages of his career. Special features include a commentary by Haynes, nine deleted scenes, short features on the making of the film and its soundtrack, audition tapes for Whishaw and Franklin, a gag reel and much more. (Genius Products/The Weinstein Co., $28.95, rated R.)

Years ago there were two music stores in Flushing on my way home from work.  Here is my plan.  Tuesday on the way home from work I will stop by Borders just outside of Penn Station.  If they don't have the DVD, I will wait until Thursday when I don't have to be at work until 1 PM.  I will then stop by the Virgin  Record store in Times Square.  I am almost certain that they will have it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Some More Bob Dylan Thoughts on Dreams

The following song Talkin' World War III Blues came from the Freewheelin' Bob Dylan album seen above.  The young lady is Suze Rotolo.  She will soon release a book about her romance with him in the early 1960s.  Look for a book review here.

Some time ago a crazy dream came to me,
I dreamt I was walkin' into World War Three
I went to the doctor the very next day
To see what kinda words he could say.
He said it was a bad dream.
I wouldn't worry 'bout it none, though,
They were my own dreams and they're only in my head.

I said, "Hold it, Doc, a World War passed through my brain."
He said, "Nurse, get your pad, this boy's insane,"
He grabbed my arm, I said "Ouch!"
As I landed on the psychiatric couch,
He said, "Tell me about it."

Well, the whole thing started at 3 o'clock fast,
It was all over by quarter past.
I was down in the sewer with some little lover
When I peeked out from a manhole cover
Wondering who turned the lights on.

Well, I got up and walked around
And up and down the lonesome town.
I stood a-wondering which way to go,
I lit a cigarette on a parking meter
And walked on down the road.
It was a normal day.

Well, I rung the fallout shelter bell
And I leaned my head and I gave a yell,
"Give me a string bean, I'm a hungry man."
A shotgun fired and away I ran.
I don't blame them too much though,
I know I look funny.

Down at the corner by a hot-dog stand
I seen a man, I said, "Howdy friend,
I guess there's just us two."
He screamed a bit and away he flew.
Thought I was a Communist.

Well, I spied a girl and before she could leave,
"Let's go and play Adam and Eve."
I took her by the hand and my heart it was thumpin'
When she said, "Hey man, you crazy or sumpin',
You see what happened last time they started."

Well, I seen a Cadillac window uptown
And there was nobody aroun',
I got into the driver's seat
And I drove 42nd Street
In my Cadillac.
Good car to drive after a war.

Well, I remember seein' some ad,
So I turned on my Conelrad.
But I didn't pay my Con Ed bill,
So the radio didn't work so well.
Turned on my player-
It was Rock-A-Day, Johnny** singin',
"Tell Your Ma, Tell Your Pa,
Our Loves Are Gonna Grow Ooh-wah, Ooh-wah."

I was feelin' kinda lonesome and blue,
I needed somebody to talk to.
So I called up the operator of time
Just to hear a voice of some kind.
"When you hear the beep
It will be three o'clock,"
She said that for over an hour
And I hung it up.

Well, the doctor interrupted me just about then,
Sayin, "Hey I've been havin' the same old dreams,
But mine was a little different you see.
I dreamt that the only person left after the war was me.
I didn't see you around."

Well, now time passed and now it seems
Everybody's having them dreams.
Everybody sees themselves walkin' around with no one else.
Half of the people can be part right all of the time,
Some of the people can be all right part of the time.
But all the people can't be all right all the time
I think Abraham Lincoln said that.
"I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours,"
I said that.

Copyright © 1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music

** - In a concert version of this song from October 31, 1964 at Carnegie Hall Bob susbttituted Martha and the Vandellas for Rock A Day Johnny

By the way - while I was writing this journal entry I answered a reference question about plasticizers and phthalates.  I still know my chemistry!  I can multitask very well.

Today's College Students Like Jimi Hendrix

As I was waiting on line for food at the NJIT cafeteria tonight I saw a student with a Jimi Hendrix sweatshirt.  About an hour later I see another student in the library wearing another Hendrix sweatshirt.  Do college kids like all classic rock or just Hendrix?  What NYC radio stations besides Q-104.3 play his music.  I still have two of his records that I bought in the late 1960s.  I remember that when he died in 1970 the campus newspaper at City College had a big article about him.  When the professor of my German class saw that, he asked "Who's Jimi Hendrix?"

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